Does it refer to identity, or how they look? It feels ambiguous to me.
Clothes have always been carriers of meaning and key resources for identity work, but their role as resources for identity work varies across age lines. Whereas the older women typically make fewer excursions to the shops and have in mind aims and objectives when they do and do not enjoy being distracted, younger women are more likely to view shopping as a leisure-time pursuit, more likely to visit a shop with no specific purchase in mind. The clothing purchases of older women are more likely to be linked to specific needs (professional and social) or to their household budgets. For these women, identity will be further removed, than for younger women, from how they look and its significance. It will be linked to matters such as professional standing, children, social roles and obligations. By contrast, younger women purchase things that help them expand their self-perceived identities and images. Entities far more complex than clothes are being tried on in the changing rooms, where a dress becomes something that ‘fits’ or may be ‘grown into’ in a symbolic as well as a physical sense.